I had an anxiety problem. Well, this is what I used to tell myself anyhow. In fact, I didn’t have an anxiety problem at all. I may have all the symptoms of anxiety – a raciness within my body – and yes, it can get to the place where it is a problem, but to say I have an anxiety problem does not quite go to the heart of the matter.
Let me explain.
I remember anxiety affecting me at age 4 as I waited for the school bus and it has been with me ever since. I remember sitting in class at school not being able to answer any questions because I felt anxious and fearful, so I learned to sit and listen and be very, very quiet. I had determined very early on that this was the best way not to get attention and to stay out of trouble. I may have been quiet, but I observed everything around me with an absolute astuteness.
Now let’s fast forward to my 40s. Anxiety had now become a major hindrance to my life. In fact, it was ruling my life, making it difficult to get through each day and preventing me from connecting more deeply with other people and having the relationships that I knew were possible. It was worse now than ever before because I had stopped living in a way that was hard and in protection. What this meant though was that I was more open to feeling everything around me, where people were at and where I was at, and this made me feel uncomfortable, like I could not cope.
Addressing anxiety could potentially change my life, and I was ready for it; prepared to explore what it was all about.
This was all triggered by a situation where I was verbally abused by someone for something very petty. I was shaken to the point where I went straight to my ‘give up’ place saying “this is all too hard.” Over the years I just couldn’t get the anxiety to stop, and this situation was the last straw, so I went for a quick fix and decided to give anxiety medication a go. There was a part of me that felt such relief with the medication because my body was more relaxed and my mind less agitated. In many ways I could say that I felt a little numb. Nevertheless, I knew that whilst the tablets were providing me with a level of desensitisation or relief from the world, it was not a resolution going to the root issue.
I did not rely on the medication alone, but continued with my commitment to understand and heal from the anxiety. I felt well supported by a team of wonderful practitioners that included my doctor, a psychologist and an Esoteric Chakra Puncture practitioner, and here I began the unfolding journey around healing this anxiety.
I stayed on the medication for six months while I worked on my ‘inner’ world. The medication was not a complete fix to the problem. It didn’t stop my reactions or the hurt in my body when I was abused by another or when I felt something hurtful. It didn’t stop the upset, and still I could push through and become racy if I wanted to avoid feeling.
When I was ready to come off the tablets that is what I did, even though I remember feeling apprehensive about whether or not I would be able to cope with life again. So I took it very slowly, supported by my doctor, feeling no rush to this process. By the time I was down to no medicine at all I was prepared as I ever would be to take the next step. It is a phase where many people typically return to the medication – in even higher doses – and the comments on the Internet sites were not very positive at all. With this in mind, over the next two weeks I allowed my body to go through the withdrawal phase from the medication and this felt quite uncomfortable, but further Chakra Puncture sessions and a commitment to being gentle on myself allowed the symptoms to pass very quickly.
To no surprise, I was met with all the same feelings and reactions that I had from before I started the medication, but now I felt more secure in myself to deal with whatever else was there to learn. Similar situations of conflict presented again, just like before, but this time I was able to handle what was before me. Something had shifted.
I discovered three things.
1. Anxiety as a Choice
One day when I was laying on the healing table in a Chakra Puncture session I became aware that I was free of the symptoms of anxiety. At the end of the session I would speak very differently to the practitioner, in a way that was more present and connected, no longer racy or agitated. When I left the clinic I felt steady and with no symptoms of anxiety at all! This was not my first Chakra Puncture treatment by any means, but the first one when I noticed that anxiety was not present.
This was quite amazing. It was like the session had showed me my future: a ‘me’ in the future that was sharper, more steady inside and knowing. For a while after the session I could live life from this ‘new me’ place, but soon it would dissipate and the anxiousness would return. But I now knew that in the stillness there was great awareness and knowing, and not an ounce of anxiety.
If there was no anxiety to be felt when I was on the healing table, then I had to be open to the fact that I might be choosing it. But why would I choose anxiety? Who in their right mind would choose anxiety?!?
Well, the symptoms of anxiety were begging me to connect to my body, like a child crying out for support, but instead I would unconsciously create a distraction to run away from the uncomfortable symptoms. Instead of connecting to my body and stepping out into the world with confidence, shining the true me, I would choose to become my fearful, unseen, small and contracted self – just like when I was 4 years old – because this is what I had relied on to get through life thus far. Asking me to be more than this, to be seen and self-assured, was certainly tempting and even achievable, but it brought with it great fear and trepidation.
There were a lot of things that I blamed for my anxiety. For instance, I thought I had a problem with trusting people, but I did not; I thought I had a problem handling life, but I did not; for a while I blamed it on childhood issues, but it wasn’t that at all; I thought it wasn’t ‘natural’ for someone like me to do public speaking, but really it was; I thought there was something really wrong with me, but there wasn’t. I was simply resisting connecting to the stillness and being my true self.
Why resist connecting to the stillness when it feels so amazing? This is answered simply. There is a power, an authority and a knowingness about life that is unshakable when we live from the stillness. I could have chosen this and been more responsible, but I had convinced myself that the disharmony in my life and around me in the world was bigger and more powerful than me and that I was too weak to hold steady. I realise now that I had to work very hard, even to the point of exhaustion, so that I didn’t have to feel what was being asked of me. Instead I would create a momentum of busy-ness that allowed me to enjoin with the buzzy energy around me: I could get caught up in the chaos that would dull my awareness and I could live in a way where I was burdened and could quite rightly say, “See, how can I step up in this kind of world?”
There are probably hundreds of tricks that I would find to distract myself away from the simple act of connecting with the stillness within. In many ways it could be said that I was so busy trying to address the chaos that all along, all that was needed was to connect deeply with the body and enjoy the simplicity that is there. If the world around me was crazy, then I just needed to let it be crazy. Nothing to be done, except to read it as it really is.
2. Discovering the Picture
I also needed to disarm myself of a picture that I had created of how I felt life here on Earth should be between people, and also my investment in making it ‘right’ or ‘better.’ Deep down I knew relationships to naturally be affectionate, deeply caring and where there was understanding for each other, but I struggled to accept all that was not loving between people. By not accepting what was not loving in the world, it meant that I set myself up to react to it when it presented. And it presented a lot!
Coming to an understanding and acceptance that life here on this planet is as it is – with its love and its lovelessness – still hurts from time to time, but the lack of love we experience here is part of life. Sure the lovelessness is not a true way to live, but it is the reality and to me it really does appear to be what planet Earth is all about. Abuse and violence at all levels has been here for thousands of years. It is not something new that has crept in… it has been here from day one.
I am still coming to terms with this aspect in full, and at times continue to find myself foolishly desiring it to be another way, but one thing I do know for sure – the tension in our bodies that we feel when we encounter something that is not loving is quite natural for us to feel as human beings. Our bodies amazingly read what is love and what is not and will clearly let us know what is before us at any given time. How we react to the hurt… well, that is another story altogether.
3. Something to Express
The next aspect for me to understand unveiled itself at a Universal Medicine workshop. What I understood from Serge Benhayon’s presentation is that anxiety is just the body’s natural way of telling us that we have something amazing or important to express. This struck a chord with me – like a lightbulb turning on. I had believed anxiety to be something wrong with me, like an illness, but with this statement I could feel that anxiety was a natural part of me – like a messenger.
Anxiety encourages us to express, and if we ignore those impulses it will become louder.
I didn’t have to wait long for a situation to present and show me this was true. Only hours later, and at this same event, Serge asked the audience to share about an activity that we had done. I have never been able to talk on the microphone at these sessions, or with any large audience in fact, but this time I had something specific to share. I felt the impulse to put my hand up and take the microphone. I wanted to do it but I physically could not raise my arm. I sat in the chair and observed my anxiety kick in and the longer I resisted expressing myself, holding myself back, the more intense the anxiety became until it reached a point that the anxiety had caused such a physical reaction that I was beside myself and could no longer speak. The moment was gone and I held back saying what I had to say.
After this situation I began to practise speaking up in everyday situations. It was harder with those things that I feared could potentially end in conflict, but as long as I stayed connected to myself as I spoke, the words were there and were more often than not received with their loving intention.
Practising this helped prepare me to speak at an Engineering Conference, to a large audience of over 210 people. In many ways I found it easier to talk at the conference than to express about those sensitive matters or things that made me vulnerable, and this was a surprise. On the evening of the Conference Dinner I felt the anxiety in my body begin to run about 2 hours before the event, but I did not allow myself to run with any silly story, I just told myself “You have something amazing to say. You may not know what that is just yet, but get up there, let go and enjoy being yourself.” And that is what I did. Within minutes the audience was laughing and I relaxed to the point where there was no anxiety at all. None. And it was fun!
Today I look at anxiety very differently to how I have in the past. It is no longer about ridding myself of the symptoms of anxiety or running away from what I may feel, but responding to it when I first notice its presence in my body so that it does not reach the heights that I have allowed it to go in the past. All along I believed there was something wrong with me as it has been so debilitating in my life, and here now I have been given the freedom to know that anxiety does not need to rule my life. It is more like a friend that pops in from time to time to remind me to express what is there and to let go and be myself without fear of repercussion. Anxiety may be there as my personal little champion to help me be all of me whenever I am taking another step, and that is something I can now deeply appreciate.
By Maree Savins, Australia